The UFC returns to the Apex arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for a huge lightweight contender main event between number 7 ranked Rafael Dos Anjos as he takes on number 10 ranked Rafael Fiziev.
The two were originally supposed to fight back at UFC 272 before a positive COVID-19 test and visa issues put a stop to it, but after both men claimed a win since then they're back on a collision course.
We'll take a look at the fight and break down both fighters before giving you our best free betting picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash over the weekend.
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UFC Vegas 58 information
- Saturday July 9th, 2022
- UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Main card starts at 9pm ET
- Lightweight bout (155 pounds division)
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev
This fight has got all the makings of an absolute classic five-round bout, and both men are coming into it in fantastic form in their careers.
Dos Anjos is the higher ranked fighter and a former champion at 155 pounds, while he also competed for the interim title up at welterweight a few years ago showing his brilliant qualities as an athlete.
Since returning to the lightweight division Dos Anjos has gone 2-0, dominating against Paul Felder to a decision win before earning another shutout victory against Renato Moicano, who stepped in on short-notice in place of Fiziev when this fight fell out last time around.
Fiziev on the other hand suffered defeat in his UFC back in 2019, but has gone on a five-fight winning streak ever since with wins over Alex White, Mark Diakiese, Renato Moicano, Bobby Green and most recently a spinning wheel-kick knockout of former teammate Brad Riddell.
He has a professional record of 11-1, with seven of his victories coming by way of knockout. This is in comparison to Dos Anjos' professional record of 31-13 with ten submissions and 16 decisions.
Route to victory
Fiziev comes into this bout as the favorite rather surprisingly, because his biggest advantage in the fight is in the striking department.
The Kazakhstani fighter is a world class kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter, and once upon a time was a striking coach at the Tiger Muay Thai gym that he trained out of. Now however he is focusing on his own personal journey and has shown that there are levels to the striking game when he's involved.
But with that said, he faces a big disadvantage in the grappling areas of this fight which happens to be where Dos Anjos excels and that could be a big problem.
The former champion is a technical and crisp striker himself, but is usually on the smaller side in his fights and tends to rely on his striking to open up opportunities for him to wrestle and use his jiu-jitsu to control opponents on the mat.
His ability to get fights down to the ground and hold people in position to use his heavy hips and excellent positioning and control to ensure that he is in full control at all times.
His best route to victory will undoubtedly be via that method once more, and Fiziev must do all he can to maintain distance between them both and use his fast kicks and powerful punches to get the advantage.
Time to return to the Matrix ?
— UFC (@ufc) July 4, 2022
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UFC Vegas 58 Prediction
It's always hard to pick fights, especially when they're such a difficult stylistic match up like this one is.
However there is more that separates these two fighters than there is that brings them together, and the vast majority of the differences lean towards the experience of Rafael Dos Anjos getting the job done.
It's rare that Dos Anjos gets completely dominated in a striking duel with an opponent, but that is likely to happen here because of just how good Fiziev is in that realm of mixed martial arts.
However when it comes to the grappling, it's arguably even more one sided in the Brazilian's favor than the striking is the other way, and there aren't many better fighters when it comes to executing a game plan to get the victory as his 16 career decision wins show you.
Add to that the fact that Fiziev has never gone five rounds before, I expect Dos Anjos to put his grappling gear on and really grind his opponent into the mat to ensure a victory, and line up a potential title contender fight against one of the top five ranked fighters in the UFC before the end of the year.
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